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Prolonged exposure to SRIs during pregnancy increases risks of adverse neonatal outcomes

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What are the effects of timing and duration of gestational exposure to serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) on risks of adverse neonatal outcomes?


3500 infants conceived between 1 January 1998 and 26 March 2001 whose mothers had used SRIs during pregnancy. Neonates were identified from the British Columbia Linked Health Database. Maternal mood diagnoses were obtained from Ministry of Health MSP ICD-9 codes referring to depression. These records were linked to maternal prescription records for SRI antidepressants, benzodiazepines, other antidepressants and antipsychotic medications dispensed between 1 January 1998 and 31 March 2002 (data obtained from PharmaNet).


General population, British Columbia, Canada; recruitment January 1998–March 2002.

Risk factors:

Early gestational exposure to SRI (infants of mothers discontinuing the SRI in the first or second trimester and not resuming the SRI during pregnancy); late gestational exposure to SRI (infants of mothers with an SRI prescription during the first or second trimester and continuing to take the SRI into the third trimester). The first trimester was defined as date of conception to day 92; second …

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  • Source of funding: British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Department through the Human Early Learning Partnership, University of British Columbia and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.


  • Competing interests: None.

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